April 25, 2011

Tale of a Djinni • The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand book cover
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
Series: The Bartimaeus Trilogy #1
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: September 30, 2003
Source/Format: Borrowed from Macky || e-book

Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice. When he is humiliated by the famous wizard Simon Lovelace, he seeks revenge by summoning the powerful djinni Bartimaeus. When he send Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt. 

I never thought of reading this series, despite having spotted it in various bookstores over the years. Now that I've finally mustered up enough will to read it, I'm only sad that I didn't read it sooner! The books are written in a pleasant, witty manner that's different from what I've read before and the story is fantastically told, showcasing the author's imaginative ideas beautifully.

Honestly, I didn't think I would like The Amulet of Samarkand too much because it seemed like a "boy" book. I know, I know, you're never supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I admit I did it with this one and that I was entirely wrong. The book is a great read for fans of fantasy, magic and adventure - the book provides all three in astonishing increments, and therefore tickled my fancy.

I adore the character of Bartimaeus, the djinni in the book. (Before I continue - honestly, I could care less about Nathaniel, the boy magician who's the main character. Maybe I'm just annoyed by his personality? I'm not sure). Anyway, I LOVE Bartimaeus - I find him incredibly funny, witty and bearing a razor sharp perspective on things. He's basically the reason I managed to read through this book as fast as I did - I always joined seeing things from his point of view.

That having been said, the plot is carried out quite brilliantly - and left to reveal a subplot brewing underneath at the end (which obviously links it to the second and third book). Stroud did a great job of weaving all these individual stories into one big one in a way that makes sense to the reader. He also brought to life the world that the book is located in, as well as giving pertinent details of scenarios, people and objects. Honestly, I can't help gushing about it. The Amulet of Samarkand is brilliant - and definitely something I would recommend.


  1. Hello! I'm popping in after also joining the book blog search and after reading your review I'm definitely going to add this to my goodreads. Witty, humorous and imaginative? Yes, please.

    1. I certainly hope that you ended up enjoying it! It's really a fun read, and Bartimaeus is really, really funny.


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